Who? – SkyCaddie
What? – SW2 Watch
Why? – Your eyes aren’t good enough to determine 100 yards
How? – Lighter and slimmer than before, ensuring you know your yardages from whatever mess you find yourself in.
With technology advancing in golf, like most sports, it’s almost criminal not to have a distance finder of some sort with you. If you’re still going by the course yardage markers, then fair play. If you’ve ever played a course where they’re accurate, then please let us know!
It was a bit of a pain. Like all American products you had to go through a lengthy sign up service and even though the basic membership is free, which is bloody good, getting there took its time. If you’re computer illiterate and impatient, then bear this in mind!
Once you’re in, it’s pretty easy to download courses on to the watch, however it does come pre-loaded with about 35,000 course, so there’s pretty much no chance that your course won’t be on there! If it isn’t, that’s pretty tough going!
George on the Course
Unlike Ken, there wasn’t a chance here to get to Augusta to test the SW2. At first glance, it looks like a casio G Shock, but most golfers should recognise that this is in fact a yardage watch. It’s quite chunky on the wrist and if you’re like some and don’t like wearing watches when you play, then it can be attached to your bag strap.
This of course defeats the object of you buying a ‘golf’ watch, and thus please read our review to come on the SkyCaddie Linx GT. Once you’ve decided that a watch is what you want to use it for, then the rubber strap is ideal for 18 holes or so.
It’s very easy to use as well. After the satellites have dialled in with the watch, which can take some time depending on how far out in the sticks you are, all you need to do is hit your shot to the yardages provided on the screen. That’s the hardest part actually, the golf. You get three yardage options; front, middle and back which have all been walked out by professionals.
The only ground-corrected precision map which are exclusive to SkyCaddie. This basically means they have dudes out remapping courses constantly to catch new ditches and bunkers for you to find!
As well as this, the watch has an auto-hole feature, which means it knows where you are on the course in order to change hole for you. If you blast one onto the 12th from the 5th, it still manages to recognise that you’re a terrible golfer, and give you the correct yardage into the 5th. You can also impress your mates with a shot distance function which measures how far you’ve smacked it.
If you’re really nerdy and don’t feel that writing your score on a card is good enough, you can also track your score on the watch and then pay a bit extra (£14.95 per annum) to upload the data to the cloud via bluetooth to see how many double bogeys you've made this year!
Not only is it a yardage marker. It has a built in odometer which tracks location, distance, time, laps, speed, pace and calories burnt during walks and cycle rides. You can also keep an eye on pace of play and time your round...a HOT topic amongst #GCW golfers!
Battery life is always an issue with technology. So how long will this last? With full charge, you can easily get a round out of it with about 40-60% spare. The remaining would get then a few days of normal watch use or just about another 18 holes...at a push. SkyCaddie say that you can get up to 14 hours of GPS time, but that’s a little over optimistic. Still, it’s pretty impressive considering it’s a device that is constantly using energy to track where you are!
As an entry level watch, it does what it says on the tin. If you want a watch that provides distances to the front, middle and the back of the green, then the SW2 is a great option. It’s reasonably priced at a mere £129 and the additional odometer is a nice touch. If you think how many yardage books you’ve bought visiting different courses, perhaps a small investment now may save you some wonga in the long run.
Pros: Manually walked holes, Auto-Hole, Battery life
I'm #GCW Equipment Editor. I like golf clubs and puns. I dislike three putting.